Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thirsty?: A Story of Traffic

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Belt Parkway, Bensonhurst, BrooklynWe're not sure what started it.  We think it was a merging issue.  The Belt has construction and narrow lanes and not many drivers follow the speed limit nor do they heed warnings or abide by common courtesy.  All this makes for an entertaining if not thrilling ride from Long Island to Brooklyn, thrilling in the sense of "I'm going to die," of course.

Eddie and I are in his Cruz, jamming to some Hot 97, short-sleeved shirts on, sun setting, stopping and going with the stuttering flow of cars and trucks and motorcycles.  We're in a good groove of dropping off invoices together so we can spend time together on our very opposite schedules.  Car time is our time.  His car smells like bread.  It's better than motor oil.

From the right, we see a silver-white sporty coup careening through the lanes, from right lane to middle to left and then back to middle.  Then from the right, we see a large tractor-trailer truck thing also veering over into the right lane from the ramp and then into the middle and then back to the right.

And then, from this tiny car low to the ground, from the driver's side across through the passenger's side window, we see a Poland Spring bottle fly out and up.  Not only does the bottle hit the truck, it hits the driver of the truck square on the forearm that is resting on the ledge of the open window.  It's not one of those small
20 oz bottles.  It's that large-drink-your-day's-worth-of-water-from-one-bottle sized bottle.  It hit him hard enough to bounce off and arc back over the middle lane and back towards the left lane, the bottle eventually resting for a second before being crushed by oncoming tires.

It's a physics miracle.

The truck driver?  Not happy about this turn of events.  The car driver had been yelling something as he threw the bottle--one-handed, I might add.  The truck driver had been yelling back.  He stopped mid-yell as the bottle hit him and he punched at it to get it away. 

The truck driver begins yelling more.  The car driver hears none of it because he's now weaving in and out of traffic, trying to get wherever he needs to get without being slowed down by silly things like laws and the threat of danger.

Not to be treated in such a manner, the truck driver decides that his truck is not a truck but is also a tiny sporty coup.  In this delusion, he continues waving his arm out his open window and yelling whatever it is he's been yelling as he ignores the lines in the road and acts as if the Belt Parkway is now one very wide lane meant for him only.  He starts weaving in and out of cars, chasing down the guy in the sports coup.

The truck--by another miracle--holds its own and almost catches up to the car. 

Eddie and I in our Cruz have turned our attention away from our late-day groove towards a play by play of our live and up-close version of Cannonball Run: The Water Bottle Debacle. We lose sight of the car and the truck around a curve, but then I see the truck ahead of us, getting off at our exit. 

Eddie speeds up to the exit to follow the truck, but the light at the end of the street is green and the truck is long gone.  We don't know the fate of the car, but I'm guessing it either made it to the Verrazano before the truck could catch it or it got off at our exit before the truck and the truck is still hunting him down, perhaps to thank him for the water. Maybe that's what he'd been yelling and why he'd been chasing: manners.

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